Mercedes Takes Design Seriously

The murmurs of the past few weeks has finally been put to rest and made official, the Mercedes Design Team will move into the former Chrysler Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad. This move will triple the square footage allowing the group to pursue design excellence in fullsize, a luxury that was none existent in the previous facility and in a time frame as early as July 1st.

With this news I can only assume that the Mercedes Benz group has purchased the Carlsbad facility with all equipment and machinery pre-installed from the previous owner, that means up to five surface plates, prototype build capabilities and spray booth. All this will allow the design team to present fullsize mock-up models entirely in house but this pending move from Irvine is an additional 50+ miles south so what does that mean to the existing workforce you may well ask.

The first thing that comes to mind is a relocation package of some description, I would want my team to be relatively close to reduce travel fatigue but look at the housing market at present, there’s little in way of movement. OK it’s summer, it’s the best time to move the kids, they’re out of school they can adapt but can I sell the house?

I wouldn’t want that headache going on straight away, trying to adjust the family to the new surroundings, leaving friends, schools and trying to familiarize myself with the new facility so I wouldn’t worry about that right now, I’ll just do the commute until things settle down then decide what’s best, no point in jumping too soon. For those with apartments and no commitments it’s a no brainer, just move.

Secondly if you don’t like the move I guess you can leave so I would imagine some type of severance pay for the hardcore who are dead against the move but for me, moving to larger premises is going to be fun. Plenty of room to move, fullsize models, the works, sounds good to me. So taking that all into consideration I would imagine that everyone will be filing their drawings or should I say archiving their images, cleaning tools and finalizing the current projects ready for an early July start.

So who would have been instrumental in this move?

I would imagine it would have been the newly appointed head of Strategic Advanced Design for Mercedes-Benz Cars, Gorden Wagener. Being already stationed here with the advanced group he would have seen the potential and cost saving in taking over an already turnkey operation and no doubt had visions for long term growth. This substantial facility is three times larger than his previous one so with that in mind I’m assuming there will be a significant amount of additional work in the very near future leading to a requirement of hiring new talent from all disciplines. That means designers, modelers and fabricators to shape those future products.

So what will happen to the old facility?

Who knows, the official word is it’s undecided but maybe with a bit of luck a start-up group will take it over, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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